why bring your kids to the library?

 

I loved going to the library as a kid.

It was an adventure – a quiet one, but still an adventure. I spent hours leisurely looking through the shelves for interesting stories until I found a few special ones to bring home. My mom was very patient and encouraged me to take my time making my selections. These books transported me to all sorts of interesting places and introduced me to a wide variety of people.  I remember feeling very grown up when I got my first library card and could check out books on my own.

Libraries are different now. People download books these days more often than they borrow them. As a result, local libraries  reinvented themselves to stay relevant and provide their community with programs and activities. In fact, many are now are sleek and cool to make people want to spend time there. Quiet areas are still available for those who want to read and study, but other parts of the building are designated for kids to play.

When was the last time you brought your child to the library? If it’s been awhile, you might want to spend an afternoon there and see what you find. Besides providing a free activity for you and your child, here are five other reasons to visit the library:

5 Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Library

1. Underscores the importance of reading.

We do our best to read our children books at home, but it is important for them to have the freedom to choose their own books to encourage a love of learning. Let them take ownership of the process. Your child may also meet others that share their specific interests.

2. Provides more variety than you have at home.

Most of us try to keep an assortment of books on our shelves, but it’s difficult to predict what the kids will enjoy at any given time. Sometimes they can’t get enough Dr. Seuss and other times they want only Peppa Pig. Also, as books can be expensive and take up precious space in a small bedroom, it’s nice to have the option to borrow them from the library for a short time. If your child really loves a particular book, you can always check it out again.

 

3. Teaches responsibility.

As card-carrying library patrons, young children learn about treating things that belong to others with care. When a kid checks out books in his own name, he feels trustworthy, responsible and more like a member of his community. A child’s first library card is a rite of passage.

 

4. Gives the opportunity to learn something new.

Often children don’t know they have an interest in a particular topic until they stumble upon it. They might notice a book sitting on a shelf that looks engaging and decide to read a few pages to learn more. In this way, the library helps kids step outside their comfort zone.

5. Encourages community involvement.

A public library strives to provide much more than access to books. They work to enrich their communities by offering  programs, tools and resources to area residents. Many schedule children’s activities throughout the year that make stories come to life, sometimes with puppets and costumes. Today’s youngest library patrons engage with books and magazines, with librarians, and with other kids. Often this magic happens in cozy corners where kids relax on big pillows and bean-bag chairs.

 

The Bottom Line:

In addition to books, libraries often loan out free music CDs, video games, board games and more. Most offer free wi-fi and computer/internet access. Check out the offerings at the public library in your neighborhood – you might be surprised by all that’s available.

What do you love about your local library?  Please share in the comment section below.

 

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